MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A recent raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents netted a dozen undocumented immigrants.
However, the issue at hand, is the action was intended to get off the streets those with violent criminal records.
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But several Latino activists said those taken away, were brothers, fathers and sons--with no record--and many breadwinners for their families.
"In a broken voice she said, 'Pastor, Pastor please help me," Senior Pastor Greg Diaz with Nueva Direccion Church said.
Pastor Diaz said the call for help came after his church member driving to work, was pulled over and taken away by ICE agents.
Now, many children are fatherless after a roundup by the unexpected agents came knocking.
"This is real," Diaz said. "We have families that are being separated."
Many more are living in fear.
The recent raids were part of a national effort to force out undocumented immigrants with violent criminal records.
But several Latino activists said federal agents missed the mark.
"They have gone after not only of those, but many others that have been in this city just trying to provide for their families," Diaz said.
The pastor said he wants others living across the Mid-South to take a stand.
"This is where the rubber hits the road," Diaz said.
The community activist said he will go the distance to help prevent what happened in Memphis from happening again.
"This is separating our families, and it must stop," Diaz said.
Whatever the language, he said, “Wrong is wrong.” But for those who ask, "This is not my community, why should I care?" Mauricio Calvo, executive director of Latino Memphis said there are several reasons to be concerned.
Cox Media Group